How to Pray So It Works Most of the Time

I can tell you all about prayer that doesn’t work. I know, just what you’re looking for.

Before I committed my life to God I prayed sometimes.

I’d screw up (not that unusual). Get in a jam. Try to finagle my way out. Screw it up worse.
And finally think, “Well, why not try praying? What have I got to lose?”

So I’d dash off a quick prayer kind of hoping God might actually exist. And if he did maybe he wouldn’t be too busy running the universe to hear me. And if he listened maybe it’d be the kind of request he’d answer.

Needless to say I didn’t find my prayers particularly effective or encouraging.

But after I’d committed my life to God a friend who’d gone through a similar experience talked about God really answering our prayers. That he delights in it.

So I read more about this in God’s word. I read scores of promises he makes.

I thought, “Well, if he said it I guess he meant it.”

So I prayed expecting God to answer. And I began to pray about everything. Helping me get well when I got sick. Helping me think clearly on my final exams. Helping me sort out a relationship with a long time on and off girlfriend.

And you know what? I saw him answer a lot of those prayers. Some very directly. Some in ways I didn’t expect but that worked out better. And some I just had to just keep slugging through.

Yet, through it all I found my confidence and the freedom to ask him about anything growing.

And that journey continues. Sure there are days I struggle with faith. But it always comes back because I remember a promise or an experience.

Paul writes, “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3: 12 NIV)

It’s like a never ending cycle that gets better and better.

Praying with confidence and seeing God answer produces more confidence to see God answer.

How has seeing God answer your prayers increased your freedom and confidence?